Thursday, November 08, 2007

Funerals and Flat tires

The message that I left for my wife had only a little sarcasm in it as I called from the coop gas station to thank her for leaving me a flat tire on the car. In a cliche sort of way I was late for a funeral and was happy to dispay my mechanical prowess in removing the tire and applying the spare in under 5 min. (while wearing a clergy coller no less and trying not to get dirty). Thank God for old cars with full size spares. The big challenge will now be to remember to actually get that other tire fixed before the next flat. All was well, and I was able to deliver this sermon;

John 11:17-26 - 17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ 23Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ 24Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ 25Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
Let us pray:
Lord God, give us faith and trust to hear your calling to relationship now, and to the resurrection of ever lasting life. A calling to not fear, for you have redeemed us - you have called us by name - and we are yours - Give us faith and trust to know that we will be reunited with our loved ones. Help us to hear and believe this because you are the Holy one - our saviour. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Promises and callings.

In the Isaiah verse we read today, we hear the prophet Isaiah bringing Words of comfort and relief to the troubled people of Israel. The nation of Israel had been conquered - the people taken off in slavery - and God, and the voice of God had not been heard in a long long time. Doubt has taken root -

Perhaps God doesn’t have the power to save us? Perhaps God doesn’t want to use the power save us?

And now the voice of Isaiah the prophet rings out. Despite all appearances to the opposite, God is a powerful God, and God is moving to rescue them from their distress. God is sending a strong message to the people - I am your God - I will not leave you.

They were a people that were living in doubt - they were a people living in oppression and fear with the shadow of death hanging over top of them. And now finally, after such a long season of death and pain, they were again hearing the call of God, a call to return to relationship with God, to return to the joy of living.
They have a calling on their lives - to believe that God does have the power to rescue them - and further, God has the will to do it - God has put a calling on their lives - a call to be in relationship and show the world just what a nation could be.


For us,---Today, is a day where we are gathered in mourning and thanksgiving. Gathered here, I encourage you to express your sorrow, your pain, and mixed in with all that, share your thanks and joy for the life Sylvia lived. For today is a day of morning our loss, but we do not mourn without hope.

Jesus said in today’s gospel verse “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

And here we join the people in Isaiah’s story --- there is a lot of pain in life right now - and there are many questions that need to be answered - so I think we DO want to believe ... but doubt remains. Could this new life be true? Does God have the will to make it happen?

Today is a day where questions like “Why death?” “Why Cancer?” “Why does it have to be this way?” bounce around in our heads. So when Jesus asks “Do you believe this?” it is a very loaded question that we cannot simply answer.

In the midst of these difficult questions, I encourage you to remember the life of Sylvia. From that little girl who became the church organist in that small Manitoba congregation at the age of 6, to the hard working - cancer ridden person that lived a life in relationship to God and her community. In her life of ups and downs, the voice of God was clear and not so clear at times. Life was good and not so good at times.

Some of the big questions cannot be answered - but we can look to what God has done, and is doing - let us listen to what God is calling out.

We gather to grieve and mourn the death of Sylvia, we also celebrate and give thanks for her life, and give thanks for all the love and care that she gave to family and friends, for the ways in which she touched lives and for the ways that she will be remembered.

And We can also give thanks to God for the promise that we are never alone. We give thanks that God too knows our grief and sorrow in loosing a loved one. We give thanks that God cares for our loved ones that have died and that to whom God has promised, both them and us, New Life.

A New Life where our doubt and difficult questions will turn into joyous clarity and restored relationships, where loved ones shall be reunited and where we can live in joy, peace and celebration.

We give thanks that no matter what, God loves and cares for us and that death is not the end of our living. And finally we give thanks that with God those of us who must keep on living, when a loved one has died, will know that we are not alone and that soon… the light of God’s promise’s will again be clear and the doubt will be washed away. Death and doubt do not have the final word today. It is God who gives us faith to believe - faith to trust that he can give us - and has the to will be with us - in life everlasting. Amen.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Eucharistic Theology Quiz

Eucharistic theology
created with
You scored as Luther

You are Martin Luther. You'll stick with the words of Scripture, and defend this with earthy expressions. You believe this is a necessary consequence of an orthodox Christology. You believe that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ, but aren't too sure about where he goes after the meal, and so you don't accept reservation of the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic devotions.













Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Well, it's been a month now... and not much has changed...

Maybe the other ordination will mean more...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What does the 'O' stand for?

Well, it's 0420 in the morning. What does the O stand for? Oh my God it's early.

But then, this is how memories are made. A rag tage group of young seminarians heading out into the world on bikes that are not sea worthy but maybe just good enough to get us to Sha ka ka the retreat centre (or shekina or somthing but I always thinkg of Ace Ventura 2 when I hear the name.

At any rate I will end with a quote... "Oh death, where is your sting?" I'll let you know when I finish the ride.


Sunday, September 02, 2007


Luke 14:1-14
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
7When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 12He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


Your company is more that repayment enough.
At the end of a successful dinner party, this is a common enough thing to hear. The departing guests seem to find it necessary to make some gesture of thanks by saying that it was great - and we’ll repay you. It seems that we have a hard time just receiving a gift - like a getting a tow when you are stranded on the side of the road, like eating an amazing meal prepared by a friend, like accepting ride into town, like getting an extra calf that is a twin from a neighboring farmer to replace your loss - it’s hard to receive these things without making some sort of move towards “I’ll pay you back.” There is a certain poverty of humility and hospitality that we experience when we lose the ability to just receive a gift.
In the musical RENT there is a song “I’ll cover you” where Collins - the down on his luck unemployed philosopher is invited by Angel, the street performer to come and live in her house. Collins starts off the musical by being mugged and we are left with the impression that he has nothing left in the world - Angel who normally doesn’t have much in the way of resources has just caught a windfall of money and so is in a place to offer much to her community.
I'll Cover You
Live in my house,
I'll be your shelter
Just pay me back,
With one thousand kisses
Be my lover,
And I'll cover you

In short... Your company is more than repayment enough.

Open your door,
I'll be your tenant,
Don't got much baggage to lay at your feet
But sweet kisses I've got to spare
I'll be there,
And I'll cover you
It’s pretty raw and real illustration of passion - the excitement of young lovers with 1000's of sweet kisses to toss around -  and it's the life of street people who are living from hand to mouth - who rely on their wit on the street to keep food coming in. It’s the kind of passion that we read about mostly in the song of solomon - where the lovers put aside all pretense and rules and customs and write the poetry of their hearts.
This example of love is not perfect... nor is it a perfect example of hospitality. It’s not a perfect example of love because the love of these two imperfect people is a blinding passion that does eventually turn to pain as Angel dies later in the show... it is so imperfect in so many ways. - they start as broken people, and this love erupts like a volcano into their lives. And it is in all it’s imperfection that it’s the perfect example of hospitality - two broken people meeting at a point of love and passion where one freely gives to the other who cannot ever repay - and what is more, he makes no pretend offer of one day making it up.
And for my part, I fight against the notion that ‘my company is repayment enough.’ And perhaps this is humility gone wrong - don’t we hear the message enough that we are not good enough - that we are not lovable - that our company isn’t worth that much - we’re unworthy. Don’t we all feel the need to balance the money end of things and make sure that it’s even. Isn’t that awkward, to feel we are in the debt of someone else.
Collins in RENT is reluctant to take the offer but at the end of the love song he finally agrees to accept the offer.
To accept the offer... he has no money of material wealth to offer back and yet - we hear it in Angels response: Your company is more than repayment enough.
I have been a witness to something amazing this last week. A few weeks ago Pastor Lynn got the call from a woman who was looking for some help with a grave side memorial service. There is a connection to the Lutheran church so she called here and - I arrived at the Rosthern Cemetary at 1pm last Wednesday and there were was the grave, there were the two boxes, the ashes of the loved ones.
The service began with a time of sharing a few memories and there were some good ones. Stories of a spoiled dog and hockey games played, cars that were owned. Of course there is no way to sum up a whole life but these memories were offered to the small group of mourners who sat in confused emotion - all the emotions that well up at a funeral, with the memories of loved ones. Then we had a brief service with prayers and official goodbyes.
After the service, we were hosted at the church. Hospitality in the biblical sense which is to say, love for the stranger. Hospitality to those who pay or reciprocate is more of the industry definition - like a hospitality sweet. Biblically we speak of hospitality as love for the stranger - giving with no expectation of return- with no possibility of return.
And so these folks were strangers... a group of people who needed a place to mourn - a place to say good-bye to cherished family members.
But this is the Word for us today. Our church, us, are the instruments of God.
And God uses us to extend hospitality - love for the stranger - hospitality as we go about the business of trying to be church in mission to our neighbors and others.
I did not go out and do the graveside memorial because I was hoping there would be a bonus in it for me - I went because I’m called to this office of ministry - called to extend the formal office of this ministry in Word and sacrament... the people needed the Word that day - they needed the formal structure that is offered by a service to facilitate a goodbye to loved ones - they needed a space to mourn this passing.
And the church - those who served that day and made ready this building did not make food and open the doors because they needed to pretend to be a catering company for a day - the church is not in the business of trying to profit ourselves off the needs of the community. The building doors were opened and food and drink were set out because we are a church people that uses our space to extend hospitality - love for the stranger - in whatever way we can think up to serve - in whatever way we are called to serve.
Hospitality is inviting those who have no chance of repaying you to supper- it’s meeting the needs of others because they have needs that need filling and you have the means to make it happen. Jesus uses his classic list of people he came to serve, and people that we too need to see and look out for - the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind - these are the outcasts in Jesus day.
And this is the homework for this week. Make a list and figure out who are the outcasts in our community. Who is the person that could really use a meal invite and some love and acceptance? If you figure it out, tell each other what you’re doing and who you see. Seek out these people and really find out what makes them tick. You’ll be surprised that in all of the human imperfection of the world, you’ll find God in everyone as you really get to know them. It’s an amazing blessing to go to someone, and discover how God is already their - already at work in their lives.
In as much as this is a good idea to forward the Kingdom of God - and in as much as Jesus relates to us the Wisdom of Solomon in how to be a good dinner guest, and how to not embarrass yourself by selecting a seat that is too good for yourself, today we also get a glimpse of how God orders the kingdom.
When you host the people who have no chance of paying you back, or when you donate or lend a hand to any cause that helps the poor, the crippled, the lame, or the blind you are blessed, because they cannot repay you, and you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous - you are participating in the breaking in of the Kingdom of God.
And most importantly hear this - all that comes before hinges upon...
It is the hospitality of God that draws us in, makes us friends instead of strangers... Makes us a church acting as the body of Christ. And you cannot repay God for this hospitality - none of us can. If love and acceptance - If Amazing Grace is for any of us, it if for all of us... None can repay... and yet... all receive the invitation to the feast that God prepares. All are invited to the Kingdom, all we can do is lay down our baggage and receive. The mutual embrace of 1000 sweet kisses.
Praise and thanks to God for giving hospitality to us, for hosting us at his table, and for giving us opportunity to live out hospitality as the Kingdom unfolds all around us. AMEN

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Ah HA!!!

Imagine my surprise to be driving along during my home care shift... driving along and then seeing a tandem bike cross the street a few blocks up. I gave chase. And sitting outside of the Petro Canada at Market Mall was MY BIKE!

So I drove up, 3 bikes, one guard, and my bike. I manuvered around and pretended to be reading while sizing up the situation... I mean really? What was I going to do?

I though about Walter in the Big Lebowski... I mean this this is about drawing a line in the sand! Across this line you do ont cross!... What's mine is mine...

Then I thought, I just got my fake ordination to be Priest of Dudism... what would the Dude do? I mean, we're getting out of this thing cheap man...

And then I thought again.... what do I really hope will happen? I'll get the bike back and they'll forget where I live and it'll go back not being fixed and taking up space for a few years while I ride it twice a year and dream about what it could be.

The others came out of the store. 4 in total. 15-16 years old except the little one.. he looks 8. They are dressed in hip hop but not in the clean sense - they are a little too dirty to be wannabe suburb type rich kids. The get on the bikes and leave.

I follow... not too close... they turn down and alley... I part behind a dumpster and watch... They are eating on the grass half way up the alley... I can see my bike there but they are just sitting there (*probably stole the food too).

It's go time...

I put the car into drive and creep up the alley... I could run the bike over with little risk to life and limb and take my revenge... and then instead I drive by and don't look back.

It's called playing the pot odds in texas hold'em... if there was enough money in the pot I might risk a long shot but I don't really want the bike back. They've gone all in and I haven't seen the flop yet so ya know what?... keep my small blind.

I'll get another bike if I really want one.

Fair thee well sweet 'diggs' the bike. At least you are bring ridden now...

There is probably somthing profound about forgiveness and turning the other cheek and not getting stabbed for a $10 bike in here... I wonder what it is?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Leads man?...

So I didn't call the cops on the bike thing... I guess if you havn't been at least stabbed well you shouldn't bother calling them...

So... we went to the farmers market...

And LAB (Lo and Behold) I found the brake cable off the bike... Yes, the home job bike that had the home job splice on the comepletly siezed brake... so... what can I do now?

No I wait.... and when I see my bike downtown... I'm going to run it over... it's my bike! I can do what I want...

Camry is hungry...

Friday, August 24, 2007

They peed on my rug...

Well... in a non literal way they peed on my rug. Actually they just stole my bike... I don't know if I would have been more upset if it was my real bike, or Erik's bike, or maybe even Anno's bike.... these things would have been annoying but no...

They took my tandem bike... my piece of crap yet to be fixed barely drivable bike that really was a long way from anything and had nothing but potential... and this is mourning... the potential is gone. A regular bike, or a good bike even is predictable... who knows what could have happened on this tandem bike? Who knows what it could have become...

Well, all I can hope for now is that it's dead in the river valley, starting to rust. Rust from the moisture of the blood and guts of the guy that was impaled because the breaks didn't work and after steeling it he went off the road and smashed in a tree and bled lots... and lots...


and lots.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sermon on the Rules

Special thanks to Matt G. for the dinner party imagery in this sermon. Check his sermon here:

2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:10
Psalm 32
Galatians 2:15-21
Luke 7:36 - 8:3

I like rules. I can understand rules. I can predict rules. Rules make my life safe - I can go whole days without hurting other people because in many situations it is quiet clear what is expected of me. Rules - and playing by the rules, seems to be a safe way for a Canadian to live in the world.
Our own rules around the dinner table are deeply ingrained into us from birth. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Don’t talk with your mouth full. My friends favorite, “Don’t put your elbows on the table this is not a horsey stable.” All of these rules have a good reason for existing, and it would be hard to imagine life without them. Rules have a stabilizing effect, they are predictable, but can also prevent the right thing from being done.
Simon is having an uncomfortable moments where the rules of proper conduct and proper order are being broken… well, shattered really - he’s having a nice dinner party, and right in the middle of his nice dinner party, this sinning woman enters into his party and she breaking all the rules. She is a woman who has let her hair down like a prostitute, and we’re told she’s somehow obviously unclean as she is spotted as untouchable right away - and in touching Jesus she is making him unclean and the whole party is being ruined - ruined by this filthy sinner! Jesus, the guest of honor is being touched and molested by this outcast - this nobody. What are Simon’s guests going to think? Why can’t this annoying woman leave them alone to have a nice meal in peace?
“Uriah the Hittite is Dead.” These words come to King David’s ears with such a mix of pain, joy, and relief. Pain because deep down he knows that he has had this man killed unjustly - knows that this was a good and honest man who David had to have killed to protect his own dirty little secrets. There was no other way to cover the truth.
But David also feels Joy, because David has gotten away with murder. Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, is pregnant with David’s child - the product of David’s selfish pleasure and amusement. Uriah had to be killed because David has committed Adultery, Bathsheba is pregnant, and if Uriah is now dead, there is no one to accuse David… maybe the child did belong to Uriah? Who knows? Who will question the king? - joyfully he has gotten away with murder and he gets to keep the girl - she becomes one of his many wives - what a hero.
David feels Relief - David is relieved because he thinks this whole mess is over. He is a King and looking back we can see that this is the point in his career where he turns the corner away from being the rising star anointed wonder boy king of Israel - It is here that we quickly forget that it is this David who defeats lions and bears and Goliath with just rocks and a sling, we forget that it is this David that God chose to be King of Israel. It is this David who played that harp and wrote so many of our psalms.
We now remember him as the man who committed adultery, and has lied and killed to cover it up. He feels above the law. Rules mean nothing to him anymore.

Lets take a moment to think about this ‘sinner’ woman who is kissing Jesus feet. Who do you see? The art work of the church has tended to portray her as a young harlot type of woman, one who has let her hair down and is looking like the kind of deceitful person who is easy to look down on. But this assumption needs to be challenged.
Simon took one look at her and in disgust and quick judgement he labels her a sinner. I’m thinking that perhaps she wasn’t the cocky young beautiful harlot that she is sometimes made out to be. I’m thinking that perhaps she was not that nice to look at. I’m thinking that perhaps she is a quiet, and broken woman - one of those broken people who are hard to be around because you can tell just how much they are suffering. I think she is one of those people you pass on the street who is hard to make eye contact with. One of those people who are a little scary - one of those people you assume is going to ask you for money and that will be awkward.
This woman (whose name we don’t learn in this story) wears her pain and suffering visible - and she is unacceptable. Simon, embarrassed, starts to look for ways to remove this woman from his nice Party. Her mere presence causes discomfort in the guests as the toxic pain that fills her life pours out onto everyone in the room. In his head, Simon is righteously trying to figure out how Jesus can let this woman touch him. For the sake of his dinner party, Simon’s looking for a reason to get her out.
Rules go far beyond our dinner table. There are many sets of rules that govern our actions in every area of our lives. For the most part, these rules are comfortable (which is why we Canadians claim to be some of the happiest people on earth - we’re mostly well fed and mostly happy and have mostly justified our place in the world, we are satisfied… for the the most part.) We’ve looked at the rules of life and figured out how to play them so we can mostly feel happy and think we’re safe safe and attempt to live in comfort.
Which feels good… sort-of… We feel alright… except for the discomfort we feel when the TV shows us how much more we have than the majority of the world.
We feel alright except for the discomfort we feel when the many justice oriented non-profit groups show us where we are actually contributing to the poverty of others through the clothes and food we buy, were we invest our money, how much energy and resources we consume.
We’re feeling alright, except for that discomfort we feel when the suffering is happening to someone very close to us.
We’re feeling alright here, except for those few awkward moments when our Garden parties are ruined by people who don’t live by the rules, who look different, who smell different - you know who I mean - the sinners. All these exceptions grate against the rules of life, and like Simon’s dinner party with a crying sinful woman in the middle of it, we are made uncomfortable by the injustice we know we live in.
King David has three pivotal moments in this phase of his life. The first moment is when Bathsheba returns to him - returns to the man who ordered her to his bedroom - and says two just little words, “I’m Pregnant.” This sends a panicked David down a road of lies and murder - This leads to the second pivotal moment as the prophet Nathan tells the parable of the man with one little sheep who is taken by the powerful man. David judges rightly and justly condemns the thieving rich man. “You are the man!” Nathan boldly throws in his face. Nathan’s words show clearly that whatever justification David has used to act the way he has - God does not agree. What David thought was done in secret, is not a secret to Yahweh. The God who drew near to David to give him an anointing with oil, to proclaim him King, who has guided him to victory over Goliath - all the way to the throne, is now on the move - God knows and sees what has happened and God knows the rules have been broken. David is broken. Davids last pivital moment is admitting that he has sinned - repentant, he falls to the ground begging for forgiveness. He has moved from a King who thinks himself to be above the law - to again being a servant of the Lord. He is no longer trying to be God in God’s place. He has been reminded of who God is, and humbly he begs for forgiveness.

God speaks through the prophet Nathan and the rules are restore. There are really two sets of rules here. First there are the rules that we all know and have established as cultural norms and laws.
The Second set of rules is God’s rule of love. Jesus, when asked what was the greatest commandment said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul. And Love your Neighbor.” David fails on both counts - regular laws and the God’s rule of Love.
Simons ruined Dinner Party is about to become more awkward as Simon is thinking rapidly of something to do to fix this uncomfortable situation - he wants to hold on to the rules that say that some people are welcome and some people are not.
And in the midst of this socially awkward situation, Jesus suddenly breaks even more rules. He admits that he knows that this woman is unclean and a sinner. He admits that he knows that she has many sins - but he does it by stating that all her sins have been forgiven - her faith - the faith that was a gift from God to trust that Jesus could in fact forgive her - the faith that emboldened her to trust God has saved her - now, at this moment, her faith is a fountain of life - she is made whole and complete by the lavish love of Jesus saturating her fully and completely. God’s rule of love trumps all the rules of exclusion - God’s love trumps the rules of the dinner party, and this woman celebrates her inclusion by lavishing praise and kisses all that is in her power back onto Jesus.
The discomfort we feel around the rules we live by is the grinding clash of the rules that govern our lives, and God’s rule of love.
This friction between the rules is where we will live our lives. The world will pull one way, love will pull another. David gets a dose of God’s Justice and returns to a love relationship with God as God and himself as human. Simon’s dinner party goes from being socially awkward, to a firm lesson in God’s rule breaking love, They all taste what it is to come into contact with the God who is on the move, breaking down walls of injustice so that healing and forgiveness and love can be fully expressed by all and to all.
So here we are… lavishly washed in the waters of baptism. Invited as friends to the Lords table to join intimately as family around that table. Empowered by the Spirit to stand up for love and challenged to let go of judgement. God’s rule of love - so different from our rules is the uninhibited relationship of acceptance and peace which sets us free - free to love God, free to love others, free to love, even when it means breaking the rules.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Mechanical Goodness...

The car just quit... then I boosted it and got over to a mechanical place - the battery was dead. Replaced that ($120). Then the charge light came on. This = alternator so... went to NAPA and got one of them... didn't fit... took it back ($250 saving) and went to an auto wrecker and bought one one there ($85). And now... it works!!!! How exciting to take the dremel and grind the rust off all the contact points - to spray the contact cleaner - to be dirty!!!

Battery $210
Alternator $85
Sense of Mechanical Godness! PRICELESS...


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lark News Article

Not real news... it's a Lark... (get it now?)

Had to post this...

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Frank Harrison, a lifelong Lutheran, began attending a charismatic church last month and now has his family worried.
"He’s scaring the wits out of us," says his mother. "All this praying he’s doing and the crazy talk about healing and spiritual warfare. He’s de-stabilizing the family."
Frank says he decided to change churches when he sat through an entire Lutheran service one Saturday evening before realizing it was a funeral service.
Out of curiosity he went to the liveliest charismatic church in town "to see the other extreme," he says. He loved it and now he greets people with "Praise the Lord!" and a big hug. He’s at church three times a week.
But his relatives became concerned when he invited them to an all-night Prayer-athon, participated in a Jericho March around the city and tried to lay hands on and heal several people at a recent family picnic. The family met recently to discuss Frank’s "disturbing religious fervor" and to plan an intervention.
"One day he was normal Frank, my fishing buddy, and then, bam, he was in this nutso church, speaking in tongues, fasting all the time and reading his Bible," says a cousin. "It's unnatural."
The family intends to tell Frank they are gathering for prayer, so they know he’ll come, and then they will spring their true purpose on him. They have hired an intervention expert for the occasion.
"We want the old Frank back," says his mother. "It feels good to be rescuing him."

The line where he sat through the whole service without realizing it was a funeral made me laugh out loud... (and then cry a little) and then right back to laughing. People! .. A little effort in the Liturgy please. This is only funny because it's true (and I'm back to crying...)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today's Sermon

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
21:10 And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
21:22 I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
21:24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
21:25 Its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there.
21:26 People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
21:27 But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.
22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
22:2 through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
22:3 Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him;
22:4 they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
22:5 And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
John 14:23-29
14:23 Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
14:24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
14:25 "I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
14:28 You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.
14:29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Let’s look at the Revelation text again. John gives us a wonderful vision. He writes; I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations.

I don’t know about you but -
I wanna live there!

A place where God so present and available and tangible that there is no temple - no need for a church - no need for a set worship time - Just bang - God - Right there - all the time - tangible.

I wanna live there!

A place where the brilliance of God is so bright that there is no need for a sun, or a moon. Everything is so clear… so right there.

I wanna live there!

The doors are unlocked - there is no fear of terrorism, there is no fear of thieves, there is no fear of death or murder or all the things that drive us to lock our doors - to hide from each other - a place of perfect trust.

I wanna live there.

But one thing… nothing unclean will enter it.
Nobody who does or even thinks the wrong thing. Nobody who isn’t perfect.
It’s a perfect place - and only perfect people can be there. The rest of us would just mess it up.

I have a sense that I don’t qualify. There was a moment when I was 18 where I was perfect and everything made sense - but the more I live in the world, the more I learn about myself and God - the more I realize that I’m a sinner - I’m not not nice to others sometimes - I’m not nice to myself sometimes. - I speak without thinking and cause harm - as I grow and learn about God and my own sinfullness I’m always surprised just how much more learning there is to do.

I separate myself from God and other people by what I do and with what I do not do. I suspect that I don’t qualify for this vision that John is putting forward.

But lets borrow John’s eyes for a second.

Will make our own revelation right here this morning. The Revelation of Sean - Chapter 1:
“I saw the holy city, the new (Rosthern/Hague) coming down out of Heaven.” There was better road access and the streets never flooded.

This would be a place where there is no more:
-Hurting each other with our words.
-No more lack of money for farmers or anyone.
-No need to leave and move to the city as you age.
- No more political parties and ideologies slinging mud back and forth.
-No need to judge each other for how we’re living - or what we’re doing.
- No death - No taxes - No sermons with morality lessons.

This new (Hague/Rosthern) would be a place where:
- Everyone would talk to everyone regardless of race, colour, religious heritage.
- There are no more churches - just one common meeting space where we gather --- and the light and love of God that would be so tangible and all around us would be lived out. We would all preach the gospel to each other without using words.
- We would see that each of us is a marvelous creation of God - full of gifts and blessings.
- We would understand the deep love that we have for each other - and express it fully without all the misunderstandings and mistakes - past and present - getting in the way.
- This would be a place where all sons and daughters could understand just how much their mothers love them. And mothers would be honored on Mothers day with more that commerciallized cards and nice sentiments - the true connection and love and bond of family could be lived and felt fully.

Oh I tell you, wanna live Here!

But there is one problem… This perfect vision could only be populated by perfect people.

I get the sense that we don’t quite measure up to this perfect standard that this vision is calling for… This would be a perfect place, and only perfect people could be here. We don’t have to think to hard to find places where we aren’t so nice sometimes - Where we use words to hurt others - Where we have been hurt by others - We separate ourselves from God and each other by what we do and with what we do not do.

Jesus words in 14:23 convict us further, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.:

It would be very dangerous to stop reading here. Because right now there are about 40 wars happening people trying to establish different people’s opinions of what a perfect world would be.

And it is here that we would be tempted to rise up and create a perfect church - perfect society - make rules and laws that ensure that people are nice - sterilize all human interactions to the point where we are not allowed to offend one another - to pull into ourselves as a small group - select who will be in our holy ‘in group’ and exclude and drive away those who don’t conform. History is full of such attempts. It is the way of the Kingdom of this world. Peace through rules. Peace through enforced silence, Peace through fear. If we have enough money and power, we can shock and awe the world into a submissive peace.

From small Communities with restrictive orders, to whole religious traditions that try to control their members to the point where no one measures and hypocrisy is the message that is expressed so much louder than love, to the Great Empires of Jesus day and ours. This the Kingdom of this world at work.

In Jesus day, When the Roman Emperor would roll into town, there was always a great celebration - debts were going to be forgiven - gifts given - order was going to be firmly established - criminals and all who didn’t conform would be punished or killed or sent away - and an eery, silent, peace would hang in the air. Stern horrific order is established. This Peace of Rome was the uncomfortable peace of a funeral.

So we must not stop here and think that we can come up with this utopia all by ourselves. This is not the peace that surpasses all understanding that is in Christ Jesus.

Jesus promises us a Spirit - sent by the Father - who dwells with us and reminds us of all that Jesus has said. This Spirit that Broods over all of creation like a mother hen broods over her nest. Like all Mothers, the Spirit has love hopes and dreams and gifts to give. Working inside the church with us, and most shockingly, outside of the church without us. The creator of the whole universe is not content with a partial salvation of creation. Can a mother forget her children? God has a deep longing to be intimately connected to all creation.

So when the Kingdom of Earth says “Cast that person away - they aren’t worth it.

The Spirit reminds us that Jesus draws water from the well and gives it to outcast woman.

When the Kingdom of Earth says “Never again talk to that person who hates you.”

The Spirit reminds us that Jesus says return love for hate.

When the Kingdom of earth says “You are not worth it. You are shameful. You are broken. You don’t measure up. You should just leave.

The Spirit reminds us that Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”

God is always working the Kingdom of Heaven around us - Arch Bishop Oscar Romero wrote that

This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing  that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We are always invited to participate in the unfolding Kingdom of God - to participate in the forgiveness of self and others - to participate in the sharing of the gifts that God has given to us - to participate in not just life, but life abundantly in relation with our creator - we are never outside of the Kingdoms reach - The call of Jesus then and the call of Jesus today is to live! The Kingdom of God springing up all around us. Rise and let us be on our way.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

How long should a sermon be?

Length of a Sermon

How long should a good sermon be? It should be like a woman's skirt, long enough to cover the essentials and short enough to keep you interested!

A poem that helped inspire be for my sermon this week.

Sometimes I think that it would be better to simply take some of the best writtings we can find and present that as the sermon for any given day but... nice to keep it fresh. I liked this one...

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own
—Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (1917-1980)
It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a small fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing  that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects  far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense  of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it well. It may be incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. AMEN.

I for one love an Arch Bishop that has the balls to stand up to the world and be a true prophetic voice of the church.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

If it Bleeds, It leads.

The Tulips are up…
Long shoots of green life streaking out of the ground that was just a few short weeks ago buried in 2 feet of snow.

Then there will be the bud. And the petal by petal the bud will open and at some moment we are going to call this bud a flower.

Amazing isn’t it. This life that was hidden - lying dormant under snow has now been called up by the warmth of the day… by the sun-shining down… by the nutrients that are found in something amazing that we call dirt. Who knew that dirt could bring forth such a miracle of life? The ebb and flow of the seasons is truly an amazing part of this world.

Try to hold onto that image of the new life springing forth while I now make a quick turn to talk about TV...

It is a common expression to say that on TV and Newspaper, that...

If it bleeds, it leads.

This is an expression used in many different movies and media to talk about how it is the violent image that is going to sell news papers - get viewers.

It if bleeds, it leads.

Would this be an accurate analysis of the news that is presented to us daily? And why not? Violence has a way of taking the center stage in any situation. The violent moment is shocking and catches your attention. Violence has a way of declaring what a situation is.

If it bleeds or causes great violence and trauma, it leads.

TV has figured this out. The news graphically depicts the world of violence into our living rooms. Situational comedies are all but gone, replaced with Crime dramas and reality shows where people suffer for the world to watch.

“Pedophile set loose in local community” - that is story that will lead. After all - it causes us to fear - to lock the doors - to stay inside - it defines our reality - this pays off because if we don’t talk to others - if we don’t get out - we’ll watch more TV and buy more things - We’ll hunker down and protect ours and our own. Our world view is defined as hide… protect yourself.

If it bleeds it leads.

32 Killed in Virginia Tech by a gun man. This is a story that leads.

Here is a headline about Virginia;

Cho's motives remain unclear. Early reports suggested that the killing was the result of a domestic dispute between Cho and his supposed former girlfriend Emily Hilscher, but it now seems she had no prior relationship with Cho. In the ensuing investigation, police found a suicide note in Cho's dorm room, which included comments about "rich kids," "debauchery," and "deceitful charlatans" on campus. On April 18, 2007, NBC News received a package from Cho timestamped between the first and second shooting episodes. It contained an 1,800-word manifesto, photos, and 23 digitally recorded videos, in which Cho likened himself to Jesus Christ, and expressed his hatred of the wealthy.

Does this remind you of anyone? Saul in our text is also a killer. Starting with St. Stephen the Martyr we see Saul is involved in the hunting down and killing of many Christians. Saul had the social acceptance of the Roman and some Jewish authority so he is not exactly like Cho. But Cho and Saul are alike in that they have picked a cause that they valued more than human life.

Saul Saul, Why do you persecute me!

At best we can hope that Cho had some sort of mental illness… hope that this wasn’t as intentional as it looked. We’ll likely never really know this…

Cho has chosen a violent way. And he made a powerful statement and has left a mark that the world will not soon forget. He showed that he had the power to end life - the lives of 32 others… and then his own - which denies us any questioning of why this happened. This violence takes centre stage and makes an attempt to define what the world is.

Cho, in a diabolic twisted way, has taken it upon himself to be god - to make the decisions of who lives and dies - and he chose death for those whom he found unworthy or simply in the way.

I wish that Cho could have had Saul’s experience of conversion as he walked across that campus and started his mad rampage. But Paul’s conversion experience in unique - and perhaps Paul was ready to hear in a way that Cho was not. The Word of God knocked Paul over - made him blind - changed him 180 degrees from a man of violence - to a passionate man of the Gospel.

So where was God during all this anyway!? Why couldn’t he swoop in like bat-man or superman. Whap! Pow! Down with the evil doer!

No… God is the one bleeding and dying and crying out for creation to love and return to the truth. God is doing something bigger than death.

Out of the dirt that was a hard and frozen grave for last summers plants, now new life peaks out and greets the sun.

Those in Jesus time were seeking a Messiah that would come like a warrior king and smite the foe - and it resulted in an attempt to kill God through the violence and death of the cross.

Cho was seeking something that we will never know - and great violence was the result.

Saul was seeking Truth, peace and justice through violence and death and laws.

But God’s way ends the cycle of payment where violence is repaid with violence.

Where as the Chos and Sauls of the world can use the power of death -

only God can speak death into life.

Saul is blinded. Annanias - being the church and hearing the command of God goes to Saul - God says “Go, for Saul is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;” God speaks into the heart of violence - and the Church offers healing in the Holy Spirit to Saul who now becomes known as Paul - and apostle of Christ. Christ speaks and Paul is transformed.

1000’s upon 1000’s gathered and offered support and prayers for those grieving this terrible tragedy. The families, the community, the church, all of the body of Christ gathers to lament this tragedy - to mourn this loss…

but then to also redefine it.

Because it is in the Easter resurrection that we celebrate this week that we know that death does not have the final word on life!

God speaks, and there is the conversion of Paul. God speaks and Christ Rises from the dead. God is bringing life out of death. God speaks, and violence and death does not have the final defining power of what life is.

Thanks be to God for bringing forth the new life of the field once again in a continuous process of renewal and redemption - In our baptism there begins a process, the tulips are opening petal by petal and in the midst of this worlds chaos there is hope and the promise of a new life in a new creation.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Springboarding off of a good friends rant about the lack of Scandanavian Rites (and by the way, I believe in the rights of scandanavians) I wanted to say that as one who has started to study the liturgy and go deeply into its meaning of it all, it might be time to ditch it.

I don't really mean that. But I am noticing that when the liturgy is happening around me, I'm loving it and in my element, and there are many people that having been in church for 80 years are just not getting it. It's not doing for them what it is doing for me.

So now I don't know where I'm going to with this post. Must be an extrovert thing... I'll just start typing and see.

regular random.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Blogs given 10 years to live...

Blogs dying? I don't like to think of myself as a fuddy duddy (although I'm well into fuddy, but duddy?!? Come on...)

I read this

And in reading that I realized I'm starting duddy... It seems that there are things happening on the inter web without my knowing... This makes me feel old. I'm a guy with a lap top and the sad reality is that my wife has a fancier blog than me (which is strange because she can't even defrag her own hard drive...)

The good news, at my present blogging rate, and only 10 years to go, I've only gotta post like, 15 more times.

I miss Ze

Extra random... sean

Friday, February 09, 2007


If you havn't been yet, you should be. (but watch to matrix first to know what is going on)

Comment! Talk!

Monday, February 05, 2007

"Liturgy is the place where you create the consciousness out of which policy can come."
- Walter Breggemann - Hunger, Food, and the Land in the Biblical Verse. 1986 Zimmerman Lecture.

This is truly an amazing article calling us to use our liturgical awareness of who we are to distance our self from the empire and envision a new way to be in the world.

"I mean to be saying to you that the food problem is partly an economic problem, and it is partly a problem of finding the right metaphores. I believe that the theological work that we now have to do is to raise the question: If we live our life out of a different set of metaphores, will we find our way to a different food policy? As long as the dominant metaphors or our life are fear and greed and insecurity and self-sufficiency, we shall finally have food policies that starve us all to death. I think we are the ones who have entrused to us another way to speak about bread that will give us life, but we cannot speak another way about bread as long as we are gorging ourselves on the empire."

Regarding the Old Testament

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Death, near death, and Confirmation

Catchy title huh?

Confirmation... awesome. How can you not love these little Lutherans? They don't know that they are Lutherans but I'm sure trying. One day they will speak. Even if it's only to talk back but they will speak.
Who knew that I would ever think that it was good idea to lead off confirmation with the Service of the word, a half hour guided meditation, and the memorization of the catechism. Strange but I think it's working... we play a few games in between too.
I do need to slow down and speak with more confidence. I get upfront or in the middle of a lesson and get excited and then I talk faster and faster and who knows if anyone can think at the speed of Sean?

Well, part of the challenge this morning was the residual stress from the Nursing shift yesterday, and the stress of knowing that I was doing my first funeral this afternoon.

Funeral went well and THANK GOD for the liturgy. Great words, great timing, easy to find your spot... just follow what the little red words tell you to do. I was the assistant minister which in this case means I read the prayers of the people and looked official as everything happened around me. This is actually a good job to have at a first funeral. I guess I'm on tap for the next one though so... likely over top of one of my hockey games, I will get the call that I need a sermon and several hours of pastoral visiting done within 45 hours. So... this is reality for the next 30 years I guess.

Nursing... the best part of home care nursing is that there are no emergencies... I've lived by this belief for several years now and surprise!.!.!, i got to call 911. There is a sound made by a person falling over backwards that is truly unmistakable, somewhere between a "Wump" and that sound the watermelon made when I dropped it at superstore. The good news that although this person was completely unresponsive, vital signs were stable and there wasn't that much blood.
911 was interesting. I dialed and got to talk to someone who determined that I actually had an emergency so I was transferred to another woman who promptly asked me what city I was in... well... I'm sure there is a good reason for this question but it seemed to take valuble time. Long story short, the ambulance came with lights and sirens and the very calm (read: bored) paramedic took charge and suddenly I was alone in the hallway having said good-bye to the distraught family and walking off to my next appointment.

So... I felt the need to post, but I don't feel the need to edit. The ramblings of the tired.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Sermon - Third Sunday after Epiphany

Third Sunday after Epiphany - Cycle C
Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in you hearing.” Amen… So be it! Right on! Jesus IS the anointed one, bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. The oppressed will go free.
And... What a shocking revelation for the people who were used to working with Jesus as a Carpenter.
A shocked local farmer was thinking “Jesus? The Anointed one? Isn’t this the guy that just helped me build that barn?
A shocked local restaurant owner was thinking “Jesus? The Anointed one? Isn’t he the guy that just built the outhouse on my restaurant?
A shocked childhood friend of Jesus was now wondering what it all meant. Was Jesus going to be something special? Because they grew up together, played together, ate together, lived together.
People would be shocked that right there, a person who was with them for so long, a person who worked with them, a person who played with them… a person who was over for coffee suddenly was revealed to be the anointed one of God.
Suddenly on that day that seemed to be just another Saturday - Just another trip to Synagogue to discuss the scriptures and the days events - just another gathering of neighbors becomes something so much more as the presence of God is suddenly experienced in a whole new way. The Word of God breaks out all around. Perspectives, Understandings, ways of living are suddenly seen anew in a brand new light - God breaks into the world. ///
And this is how it goes in the world. In Celtic Christian Spirituality they have a concept of ‘thin spaces.’ A thin space is a place where our sense of the divine, the spiritual otherness, God - seems so close that the presence of the divine is almost tangible.
Hiking in the mountains and surrounded by the majesty of God’s creation can be a thin space.
Walking along a quiet lake, the loons calling and Northern Lights dancing, God can seem so close, this can be a thin space.
The embrace of a friend at a wedding - when all of life seems so full of joy, and the potential of all that might be is held up and celebrated - this can be a thin space.
At the birth of a child, when new life takes it’s first few gasps and all the problems of life drift away in the joy of the moment of meeting a new person for the first time - this can be a thin space.
The Word of God proclaimed - the Prayers said and the Table set - when we gather as a community to celebrate the life and death and resurrection of Christ. When we hear the words of Forgiveness proclaimed in our liturgy, when we Eat the Bread and Drink the Wine that proclaims that we are a part of God and God loves us - this is a thin space. ///
When that cheque finally comes, that promotion is finally obtained, when that issues that has been weighing us down is finally resolved, when unexpected good fortune comes our way, when we finally see and understand the people around us, it is Good.
It is during these ‘thin space’ experiences that we can so confidently say “Today in our midst, all scripture has been fulfilled.”

MOVE 2 - HARD TO HEAR (Thick spaces)
As awesome and powerful as these thin spaces can be. It’s also very possible to run into some “thick spaces.” Some time and place where the love of God seems distant, where the logic of God is incomprehensible, where trusting in God’s promises seems impossible. Hospitals, morgues, family court, nursing homes… These can be some pretty thick spaces.
Trusting God is with us is hard in the face of the the fear of global terrorism. News reports filtering in that show us 10s of 1000’s of people killed in the many wars that are raging today. This bad news is uncomfortable - it thickens the air in the room.
Trusting God is with us is hard in the face of the shame that comes from not measuring up to the community standard. When neighbor looks at neighbor suspiciously, distrusting others motives. This tension is thick.
Trusting God is with us is hard when physical health starts to leave. Losing the ability to make it up that set of stairs, remember that phone number, drive that car. The loss of freedom leaves a cloud of thickness.
Trusting God is with us is hard when our loved ones leave - when death enters our lives - when we really want to know that there is a reason for the mess that we see around this world - it’s hard to breath sometimes the air is so thick.
A Thick space leaves us feeling lonely, small, afraid, doubtful, untrusting.

In Thick and Thin, the activity of God becomes the central focus. On one extreme we are in awe of the majesty of God and wonders of all creation. On the other extreme we are searching for and questioning God. We look to God in thick and thin.
The Word of God is breaking in all around us.
And when I say the Word of God I don’t mean just the words we read from the Gospel every week (but this is part of it)
When I say the Word of God I don’t mean the text of the bible (but that is also part of it)
When I say Word of God, I don’t just mean Christ’s Body - the Christian Church - the place where the words of God are spoken and the sacraments are taken. (But this is a big part of what I mean.
When I say the Word of God, I mean the Word - the entirety of God. I mean the Word that was God. I mean the fully divine person of Jesus Christ who walked on this earth - The fully human person of Jesus Christ who died on this Earth. I mean the Gospel - the good news that comes from the fact that even when all humanity is ready to say ‘see you later God - or - We don’t need you God - or - We’ll do it our own way God - … When all humanity is ready to say - Just go away and die God - God does the opposite. Rising from the grave and saying loudly for all time that I AM God - and I love you - lonely, small, afraid, doubtful, untrusting.
I love you warts and all. And I will not leave you alone.

Who could have imagined that a Carpenter from a back water town would be the very Son of God? God imagined this.
Who could have imagined that gathering and eating bread and drinking wine would become the central way that God is known to be with us? God imagined this.
Who could have imagined that in that crisis, that moment of terrible loss, fire, tsunami, wars - that a community would be able to pour our so much - Money sent - Food Prepared - Labour donated - A community come together in tragedy to aid. - God imagined a group of people that would pour themselves out.
And in the attitudes that are changed. 50 years ago could you have imagined that the Lutheran Pastor would be meeting with the Mennonite pastors? Could you have imagined that they would be meeting together for fellowship and mutual support? Could you have imagined that your specific church background would not be a barrier to who you called friend? God imagines this and it happens. The word breaks in.
God imagined all of this. The free space where we live that is full of thick and thin spaces. God is always dreaming, always breaking in with new surprises.
And it is Good news that God is doing this creative work. It is Good news that God is not resting and doing nothing. It is Good news that we are called to be a part of this. To know God. To practice seeing God. To join in the imagination of God.
Praise be to God, who does not sleep. Who is with us. Who has dreams for us.